Archive for April, 2008

oh gawd why!

This is… a representation of what Super Mario would look like in real life…

Kill it!!

Kill it with fire!!

From Nintendo Wii FanBoy

My co-worker, good friend and self proclaimed geek sent me this link (forwarded from her equally geeky husband) from Instructables.com. On the site they also have instructions on recreating the famed Blackforest cake from Portal as seen here:

I’ve heard rumor that someone made a cake of the beloved Weighted Companion Cube.

I’d also like to add that today is the last day to get Valve’s Orange Box for PC from Best Buy for only $30.

Even if you have Half-Life 2 and Episode 1, its worth it for the 3 other games. I picked up mine yesterday.

Saw this article on Yahoo news about a bar owner in Atlanta that’s taken keeping his bar and his neighbourhood safe to a whole new level. He engineered the “Bum-bot” – a simple remote controlled bot designed to scare away would be thieves and drug addicts. He’s become quite the hero in his area. CNN did a news story. Here’s the vid:

 

Strong Bad from homestarrunner.com offers some friendly advice about the safe use of the WiiMote!

Funny even if you don’t have a Wii.

Ahh Microsoft. Just mentioning the name can get many people grumbling – myself included at times. But don’t get me wrong – I think Microsoft as a whole is a great company who have amazingly talented people working for them. In fact I have first hand experience working with reps from Microsoft Canada and know how great that organization can be. But sometimes you gotta think that they are a little out of touch with the real world at times. Here’s a prime example:

Recently we purchased the “Microsoft Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000” (now there’s a mouthful) at my workplace. Overall its a great product. Sturdy little mouse with the nifty feature of having presentation buttons on the underside so you can use it to cycle through Powerpoint slides. Even comes with a laser pointer. Sounds great right so what’s the problem you ask? Inside the box is a driver CD with this attached to it:

Microsoft Warning

Let’s break this down shall we?

1) So right away we’ve got a big exclamation mark on a field of green. Hmmm….don’t know about you but this seems a little contradictory to me. Maybe its a minor point but shouldn’t the colour be yellow as in “caution”? I guess the marketing people decided that this would imply the message as a bad thing and even though it is, they don’t want to imply it. To me this paper says “Everything is cool but still WATCH OUT!!!!” kind of like when my Grandmother used to tell me as a child that I’m so lucky to live in such a wonderful carefree age but don’t be too carefree as every dark corner has a homicidal manic just waiting to kidnap & kill me.

2) “You must install newer software from the web (rather than the enclosed CD)”. Reading between the lines we can interpret this as “here’s the driver CD but don’t use it as it won’t work anyway”. I read it as “Here’s a free coaster”.

3) “On step 3 of the Quick Start Guide, install the web software instead of the enclosed CD…yadda yadda”. Again, did anyone at Microsoft ever take a second and actually read this? They must have as they took the time to translate it into 4 different languages!! At least I can feel assured that there are other users around the world that are just as frustrated.

Okay, so I get that they included the CD because it gives you basic mouse functionality but isn’t that included with Windows anyway? The only reason you use the CD is for the special features. Now normally I wouldn’t be as aggravated except that we bought this mouse to use with a laptop (as its intended) that was for an offsite meeting that had no internet access! I guess that was my fault for trusting the advertising on the back the box and assuming that it works as advertised. Silly me.

Rather than finishing this commentary as a rant I’d like to be constructive and add some resolution steps Microsoft could take:

1) Colouring a negative message green does not make it a good thing

2) Try testing your product with the intended software before shipping it to see if it works. I know its a lot to ask a company with your limited resources and lack of experience with software but just try, ok?

3) Stop justifying higher prices because you claim of lost profits due to pirating. We now know your high prices are needed to recover the cost of producing useless driver CDs. Here’s a thought: Stop making crap and having the customer pay for it. You can cut costs and make the customer happy. Its a win-win situation, seriously.

Add you comments below.

-N

Any geek worth his / her salt read Mad Magazine as a kid. One of the best parts as was the back of the magazine where you could fold in the sides to reveal the hidden message on the page.

5193s55ba0l_sl500_aa240_.jpg

The New York Times online has put up some vintage fold-ins in flash so that you can fold them on screen!

Check em out!